Sept 18-20 . . 2020 . . events

2020, The Stroud Folk Weekend will be September 18-20

The Stroud Folk Weekend is held every year on the penultimate weekend of September. Events consist primarily of music and song sessions in The Ale House and Little Vic with morris dancing in the streets. There is a Sunday afternoon folk club in the Imperial Hotel featuring many local artists. This is weekend of celebration of folk music by primarily local enthusiasts who just love to dance and make music together.

The Plan :

⒈ Free sessions at the Ale House John St. Friday night, Saturday & Sunday noon sessions. Song Session Little Vic. details

2. Folk Orchestra Workshop Sunday (and performance) see “workshops” for details. Plus Broadside Ballad workshop

3. Barn Dance/Ceilidh/concert Saturday night. (organised by the Sub Rooms)   details

4.  Mr Twitchetts concert, Sunday pm

5.  Ale House on Saturday night – duo (orgnised by the Ale House)

6. free Sunday afternoon Concert in The Imperial Hotel

2019 Programme – PDF


2020, The Stroud Folk Weekend will be September18-20 2020



Folk Orchestra Workshop at Stroud Folk Weekend. Leader: Fran Wade

The workshop will appeal to players who are inspired by our rich musical heritage and who would like to play together in a more structured way than would be found in a traditional pub session.  The style will be ‘chamber orchestra meets folk’ where the rhythm comes from the tune and accompaniment players rather than a hefty set of timps and percussion.  The workshop is likely to include fiddles, mandolins,  flutes, concertinas, recorders, violas, cellos, double bass, guitars, keyboard, clarinets, alto sax, accordions –  really anything that squeezes, blows, plinks or scrapes apart from percussion.  Players will need to be able to follow a line of music, but not be expert sight readers.  Music is for a full orchestra and includes a tune line, a counter melody line, another harmony line – the continuo, lines for viola and cello / bass, chord notation and parts for Bb clarinets and Eb saxophones.

We will do 5 – 6  traditional tunes drawn from the music of the British Isles and our neighbours.  The 2½ hour workshop will include a brief break for refreshment and will be followed by a performance of our endeavours at the start of the afternoon concert at 1pm.  It will be a glorious noise!

Last year’s Stroud Folk Weekend Folk Orchestra Workshop attracted several new musicians to join the now well-established Rodborough Folk Orchestra, which performed 6 gigs during the 2018–19 season and has around 20 regular members.

Fran Wade has been playing folk music for decades in various bands and has led orchestras and choirs both locally and at festivals further afield (eg Whitby, Broadstairs, Prince Albert Carol Consort, Stroud).

Sunday 10.00 – 1.30 Subscription Rooms, upstairs in the Ballroom

including a performance slot in the afternoon concert. Leader:  Fran Wade. Cost:  £5 suggested donation (not including refreshments).  Bring a pencil, highlighter pen and music stand.  Arrive 9.45am for a prompt 10.00 start.  Workshop finish: 12.30.  Concert: 1.00 – 1.30.  Lunch after the concert slot!


SONG WORKSHOP with Martin & Shan Graebe

Sunday at the The Subscription Rooms (George Room) 2-3 pm. Cost:  £5 suggested donation

A Song for Every Pocket, 19th Century Broadsides and Street Literature

Back in the 19th Century there was no radio and there were no gramophones, so if you wanted to hear a song, you had to be there to hear the singer in person. The songs were passed on by learning them from the performer – unless you could read (or knew someone who could), in which case you could learn the songs printed on the broadsides, chapbooks and songsters, sold cheaply on the streets and at country fairs. The songs included the popular themes of the day – the loves, lives and struggles of soldiers and sailors, ploughman and dairy maids, as well as tales of murders and disasters. All Victorian life was there!

In this illustrated talk Martin Graebe looks at the broadside ballad and its printed cousins, talks about their history and, with the help of Shan Graebe, sings a few examples.

Martin Graebe is a singer, songwriter and researcher into traditional song. He is an authority on the life and work of pioneering song collector Sabine Baring-Gould, who was the first to collect the songs sung by the ordinary people of Devon and Cornwall. Baring-Gould also made a large collection of broadside ballads which is now in the British Library. Martin’s recently published book about Baring-Gould has been awarded the W.G. Hoskins Prize of the Devon History Society as well as the Folklore Society’s prestigious ‘Kathryn Briggs Folklore Award’. He and his wife, Shan, sing traditional songs together, mostly unaccompanied and in harmony. Their repertoire includes many songs taken from the Baring-Gould manuscripts as well as other traditional songs. | 01285 651 104

SESSIONS music (the PDF version- sessions2019)


Dursley Music Session, set up by Anne & John Roberts, takes place on alternate Tuesday nights, 8.00pm onwards at Ye Olde Dursley Hotel , Long Dursley. The session regularly attracts about 10-15 musicians offering a good mix of traditional, more modern folk tunes, and a few songs thrown in. Musicians and listeners always welcome.  For further details contact Anne & John on 01453 548860, or message.
Friday evening at the Ale House 8pm

The Five Valleys Session regularly meet at Stroud Brewery, Thrupp GL5 2BU on the 1st Thursday and at The Ram, South Woodchester GL5 5EQ on the 3rd Thursday of each month. The music is mainly a mix of Celtic and English tunes, with a peppering of French, Scandinavian and maybe Americana and a bit of blues. Alternatively, on the 2nd Thursday of each month at Stroud Brewery there is often an offshoot of this group playing mainly Balkan & Klezmer tunes. This weekend they are hosting:
Music Session at the Ale House Saturday 1-3pm.

Brad McEwen & Doug Watt          

DOUG WATT Bellows squeezer, song murderer, word mangler and the only player of funk melodeon in captivity. Back despite local demand.

BRAD McEWEN Stroud’s part time resident Canadian who sometimes sings and plays cittern.  He will try to make it look like all the mistakes are Doug’s only.

Together they will play English tunes and sing songs of varying degrees of tastefulness..

Music Session at the Ale House Sunday 1-3 pm



2019 – sessions, singarounds and concerts etc .

2019 Programme PDF

Morris Running Order 2019 PDF


  • Most events in the Stroud Folk Weekend are free – please give generously when you see the collection buckets.
  • There are some ticketed events at the Sub Rooms – details are given on the programme listings where appropriate.






  • There are no camping facilities at the festival. However we have a number of sites in the surrounding Cotswold Hills.  Campsite List